Sunday, March 25, 2012

Learning curves

12March25samples  I’m getting behind in my Free Motion Quilting practice, among other things. This month’s FMQ Challenge was done by quilt artist Ann Fahl who challenged us to toss out that boring stippling and try something new! Well, I’m still stippling, but I’m also trying two new patterns. I practice my stippling, my leaves and my feathers each time I try a new pattern, so they’re always looking a little better.

12March25flowers I spent hours drawing this leaves and flowers design. It looked simple enough, but I just couldn’t get it. Having to remember whether I was on the upward swing or downward was too much. Finally, I just drew the flowers. Upward, downward, upward, downward. Then I added the leaves back in. Every time I thought I “had it”, I’d lose it again. After days I finally felt confident enough to try it on the sewing machine. Not great, but not hideous. I lost my place a few times, but meandered around a little until I could get back in the groove – which is better than I would do 12March25swirly in the past, which is to utterly drown in my mistakes. I want to use this pattern in the bag I’m making, so we’ll be working on this one some more.

The second pattern is one by Wendy Sheppard that I found in a magazine. I love it, but trying to get those swirls and flames working together is beyond me at the moment. I’ll keep working at it because I really like the pattern. At least, it looks great when she does it. Wendy is going to be our August instructor.

12March23burch I have to share another thrift store score – this little bag made of gorgeous Laurel Burch material (thanks Marilyn!). Fifty cents. It doesn’t have a label in it, so I’m assuming that it’s homemade. If it is, somebody did a very nice job of it. I hope I can be at least this good some day.

It was a beautiful day today. Sunny and about 16 C (64 F). Not summertime yet, but I’ll take it. I got home from work this afternoon and had a look to see if anything besides the snowdrops were coming up. The tulips and crocuses are on their way. But as I was looking at the snowdrops, I noticed the bees buzzing all around them, collecting pollen from the only flowers in bloom. And my wonderful next door neighbours (thanks Judy!) 12March25bees brought their roto-tiller over today so that I can till a garden spot. I started digging it by hand last Fall, but ran out of time. I tilled for a couple of hours before supper and got the first pass done. We have lovely soil near the back fence, and it’s going to yield lots of delicious vegetables! After 10 years in this house, I’m finally getting a vegetable garden. Some things just take time. In fact, all of the good things take time.

Until next time,


  1. Good Morning Wendy,
    Your fmq flowers are unique as you opted not to put a centre in them. It looks harder to do, much like making feathers without spines. Your leaves are excellent. Bravo...well done. The 50 cent bag is lovely, I'm betting it won't be long before one of your cats take it over.

  2. Your leaves and flowers look great. I'm not left/right balanced yet. I have trouble envisioning ahead of what I'm doing on shapes.